Astrolux MF04S

Astrolux MF 04S flashlight review:

Introduction:

Soon after I received my XHP 35 version I read about the Astrolux MF04s that I am reviewing here. Instead of using the "throwy" XHP35 LED (in the Astrolux MF04), they installed a new driver with the CREE XHP70 LED for more than double the lumens, at the cost of less throw. Maybe a perfect combination for the best of both worlds, great throw with some nice flood. Unlike a pencil beam that only throws far.

Most of the review has been copied from the MF04 review, and only the parts that are different are added. This includes performance, throw, LED. The dimensions and boxing have all be the same. This is the reason the 2 reviews look a lot alike :--)

IMG_9754

What you'll get:

Same as with the MF04

  • Astrolux MF04S flashlight
  • Carton box with a plastic handle
  • Atrolux Manual
  • Spare O-ring
  • Tripod mount screw
  • Carry strap

Handling of the light

The body of the MF04S seems to be a little off-balance compared to the longer BLF GT. Although the body is much shorter than the BLF GT it does however provide good enough grip. Because the head is so big compared to the body, it is a little front-heavy. Depending on how strong your wrists are, this might become a little annoying when using it for a longer period of time.

The switch is a bit recessed in the body which is a Pro! This means that it you less likely activate accidentaly. And it also helps to "find" the swith on the feel when in complete darkness.

Does it tail-stand?

  • Yep!

Tripod hole

I own a Manfrotto tripod with a Manfrotto 029 head. It uses the hexagonal quick release plate! And guess what... This light also doesn't fit, just like the BLF GT :--) and MF04.. no surprise

But Astrolux did something differently. They changed the size of the screw-in tripod mount hole to a larger size so you could use a different kind of tripod. They also included an attachment, that makes the tripod hole a regular size screw fitting.

astrolux-in-hand

Build Quality and Anodizing 

Anodization is the actual coating on the flashlight. The quality of this particular light is fine. It is however rather sensitive for finger prints etc. I was lubing the big O-ring behind the front lens element, and touched the head afterwards that left some clear fingerprints. Check the pictures below.

For the rest the build quality has nothing to complain about. The bezel was rather easy to take off, and below I will be talking more about the threads etc.

Threads 

The threads came slightly lubed, and werent sharp. The threads between body and head fit well, as well as the threading on the tailcap. Again, this is done professionally without any problems.

LED, Lens Bezel and Reflector

The reflector is still made of aluminum and is smooth, just like it sibling. If you look up close you can still see some machining rings.

  • Diameter head in: 118 mm
  • Diameter head outside: 135 mm

The bezel is of aluminum, and not stainless steel unfortunately. This makes it a little less bling.. The dimensions of the head are equal to the BLF GT. See the comparison below. The BLF GT on the left, and the Astrolux MF04 on the right. (exact same size as the FT03

THE LED

CREE XHP70.2 NEW LED  (5000K) for great throw and a nice amount of sideways beam.

Dimensions:

Flashlight manufacturers mainly show dimensions in millimeters.

  • Length Astrolux MF-04: 235 mm
  • MF04 head diameter: 136 mm 
  • MF04 Width reflector: 125 mm 
  • Width body and tailcap: 52 mm
  • Lens Diameter 131.7 mm
  • Lens thickness 3.14 mm

Weight:

  • Weight Astrolux MF04 empty: 1290 gr / 2.84 lb.
  • Weight Astrolux MF04- with Samsung Q30*4: 1460 grams / 3.2 lb.

Check the pics below for comparison. The first 2 pictures are the BLF GT with Astrolux MF04. And the last picture with the MF04. There is no difference in appearance.

Battery carrier:

The battery carrier has a metal construction. It is best to use high drain, button-top 18650 batteries . The carrier is designed specifically for buttton tops, and flat tops won't touch the positive pole.  At the positive poles on the battery carrier are plastic rings/washer to prevent from reversepolarity, inserting your batteries the wrong way can cause a short. The good thing is that these little plastic washers are easy to pry off.

Protected batteries may not fit!

My Panasonic NCR18650B's cells with protection do not fit because they are too long for this battery-carrier, but others have said they could use their protected batteries.  For sure you can use unprotected cells, and for certain brands also, protected.

See the pictures below how this works. One thing to keep in mind, that it is easy to pry off, but impossible to put back. LOL.

WARNING : this will probably void any warranty! So do it at your own risk!

Solution: Another way to use flat-top batteries is by using small magnets. But you need to be very careful because they could end up making a short as well. So I wouldn't recommend this for long-time use, unless you'd solder them to the batteries.

User Interface:

There are 2 mode groups. A main, and 1 especially for blinkies.

The main group consists of 4 modes: Moon, Medium, High and Turbo. The second (hidden) mode group consists of a Strobe, SOS and a Beacon mode.

From the OFF position:

  • 1 short click: back to last mode
  • Double click: Turbo
  • Triple click: blinkies menu
  • Long press: electronic lock-out

From the ON position:

  • 1 short click: runs through the menu from mMoon to Max.
  • Double click: Turbo
  • Triple click: blinky modes (with a single click you go through the 3 options.)
  • Long press: flashlight turns off

Blinkies:

Yes, just like the MF04, it has some blinky modes.  You can enter the "blinky" menu by clicking 3 times quickly from the OFF position. It will start with Strobe, then with a single click to SOS and lastly, the Location Beacon. Another click will turn the light off again.

Momentary On:
  • Nope!

Electronic lock-out:

  • Press and hold the switch for about 3-4 seconds when the flashlight is turned off. If you use the switch, nothing will happens. Hold it again for 3-4 seconds to return to normal settings.

Background lighting

  • Behind the switch cover is a very small LED. This stays on as long as the light is turned off. When you do a lock-out, the LED will switch off! This can be handy to save some battery life. I usually just unscrew the bodytube from the head to have no parasitic drain.

Performance:

Unfortuately I had a very hard time to measure the battery amps. And it is impossible to unsolder 1 LED wire to measure amps, and didn't want to break anything before taking it outside. I think it is more important for this kind of flashilght to measure "throw" and not battery life.

How far can the Astrolux MF04 Throw?

First I did my measurement indoors, at 5 meters (16.4ft). I then calculate the Candles (cd) with the following tool: https://www.rapidtables.com/calc/light/lux-to-candela-calculator.html

This time I used my professional Hagner E4-X luxmeter, and not the cheap lux meter I used to test my lights with.. So the numbers are different, and more trustworthy imho.

Measured indoors at 5 meters

  • Astrolux MF04 throw is: 917kcd on Turbo (4 Samsung 30Q high amp batteries)
  • Astrolux MF04S throws: 575kcd on Turbo ( 4 Samsung 30Q high amp batteries)

Measured at  10 meters

  • BLF GT : 812 Kcd on Turbo (4 Panasonic NCR18650B protected)
  • Astrolux MF04 throw is:   1240Kcd / 1.24 Mcd on Turbo (4 Samsung 30Q batteries)
  • Astrolux MF04S throws: 585 Kcd  on Turbo (4 Samsung 30Q batteries)

You can see that it isn't as throwy as the Astrolux MF04, which is currently the king of throwers!

I tested them both with the same Samsung Q30 flat top batteries (using the magnet trick I mentioned earlier). Astrolux claims 600000cd / 600Kcd.. which is about right with my measurement. I measured only at 5 and 10 meters. I'm pretty sure it will even improve at 15 meters-20 meters. But I don't have the ability to check that at the moment.

Overall conclusion of the Astrolux MF04S

Pros:

  1. 6000 lumens
  2. Awesome combo: throw with flood
  3. Carry strap included
  4. Simple user interface (and I am really glad about that!)

Cons

  1. Tripod hole has 2 sizes (in case your tripod has a different size screw)
  2. Because of the nature of this beast, the light is a little front heavy.
  3. Still not cheap
  4. Anodizing is a little sensitive for fingerprints

Author: Marco

Excellent

I have had the light for only 2 weeks and it has performed stellar. I have nothing to complain other than maybe the sensitive coating... (fingerprints). But other than that? A really, really awesome flashlight.. 600Kcd and 6000 lumens is just amazing.

 Where to buy Astrolux MF04S

The Mateminco MT70 Plus is for sale at Amazon.

 Where to buy Astrolux MF04S

The Astrolux MF04S is for sale at :

Use coupon code ef0b79 for discount at banggood

Recommended Batteries for the Astrolux MF04S

Samsung 30Q batteries